Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Power & Pain of Authenticity

If I’m going to be authentic with people—who I am with nothing added to improve a result—I will likely feel a fleshly urge to add some pizzazz or extra personality or something really good to say in order to enhance the result. Refraining from that urge can seem like I’m causing or ignoring a void of opportunity that really ought to be filled. I was once very good at filling voids with additional information, jokes, sarcasm, nervous laughter, or witticisms. But choosing now to be authentic means I’m resting and trusting in Christ and choosing life by the Spirit. And that’s different.

When we’re born again, we are no longer of the flesh nor in the flesh, and life is by the Spirit. That means our primary awareness becomes God—with us and in us—and not our previous fascination with how to be or what to do in our days. Life navigation used to be outward oriented; now it is inward. Our greatest prize and joy becomes knowing God—even when we’re with people—and trusting Him to produce in us and through us what He wants and would be to the people and situations around us.

Really, most of us are used to dressing up our behaviors and interactions with people. The flesh sends us the message that we should enhance it all, which will give us better odds of getting what we want. And it might, actually, so that can become our goal in life. Control yourself = Get what you want. In fact, if you do not enhance your interactions with people in the ways that others do and expect, they might view you as different or odd. Not with the program. But you’ll know better.

In addition, Christian authenticity does not simply mean honesty, which can be brutal and harsh. Christian authenticity is living in and trusting in our union with Christ, who manifests whatever fruit He wants for a given situation. Life by the Spirit for us means love from God and love for others. If we're "cracking the whip" on people or "just being honest," that's not Spirit-led, that's fleshly.


  1. Stacey Sorensen8:59 AM

    Awesome. True rest. :). Learning to know Him is priceless.

  2. Sarah Moore Harris9:00 AM

    This is the life I want. Makes me realize how fleshly I am, but makes me hunger to be at rest in the spirit.

  3. John P. Cwynar9:00 AM

    ‎"I was once very good at filling voids with additional information, jokes, sarcasm, nervous laughter, or witticisms." Someday I will become like you Ralph... but for now there are just soooo many voids..... sooooo little time!:))) Great post, brother!

  4. John W. Harris9:01 AM

    Very wise counsel!

  5. Joyce Ewing9:01 AM

    This is my desire............long way to go....but God.....

  6. Sherry Baker Sheehan10:13 AM

    Sounds like "speaking the truth in love". That is a good word and point well taken.

  7. Jenny Thompson1:43 PM

    I have found such peace in the freedom (I've learned) we have in Christ! I used to be the "fun one" and the "one with all the plans" etc. But the more I learn about His love for me, the more it frees me to be ME. And funny thing is: I actually LIKE me! (Jenny)

  8. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Thank you, Ralph. Authenticity - - - I'm not there yet...but I'm learning more every day that God IS doing a work in me, as only He can.... However (and I know He's not surprised by this), most of the time, I find that trusting Him that what He's doing is enough (fast enough, good enough, etc.). so the tendency to "HELP HIM" comes into play..... That is when embellishment in speech and/or action happens.
    Thank you for pointing out that HE really doesn't need my help at all and knows what HE's doing at every moment. That frees me to trust HIM more. And I love that!